Clues which make a detective role special

Sam Clemens plays Sherlock Holmes at Buxton Opera House from August 24 to 26.
Sam Clemens plays Sherlock Holmes at Buxton Opera House from August 24 to 26.

Every role is pretty special to an actor - but some matter more than most.

Sam Clemens is starring in Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper Murders which comes to Buxton Opera House later this month.

Here he talks about why the role means so much to him:

“Firstly, playing the iconic detective is every actor’s dream.

“Secondly, playing Sherlock in a play written by my father is very special indeed; as we lost him in January this year. I know he would be extremely proud of this production, particularly as both my brother (George Clemens, technical director) are involved.

“Lastly, I was able to bring in my great friend and talented TV and film composer Edward White, to write the score for it.

“As a family we thank Talking Scarlet for bringing this production to life for a fitting tribute to Brian Clemens.

“Everyone asks me, ‘What is it like to play a character that so many actors have played?’ The answer is, ‘It is great fun and humbling’.

“I did my research by watching numerous portrayals, from Basil Rathbone’s to Jeremy Brett’s to Johnny Lee Miller’s. I visited the London Museum, which was staging a Sherlock Holmes exhibition to see where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character began from and the many incarnations that I wasn’t aware of.

“I didn’t want to try to emulate my favourite Sherlock, as it would have become a terrible impersonation, but I felt the best way was to play him from my strengths and utilise what characteristics I most identified with, his sense of justice, humanity and playfulness, particularly with Watson (wonderfully played by George Telfer).

“I believed I would be different by virtue of the fact that I am playing him. I always work from the script. It wouldn’t serve the story to add or decorate my performance with Holmesisms if the script doesn’t suggest or examine them, such as playing the violin. It is mentioned in our version but I am not seen playing.

“Dad was a huge fan of Holmes and was a real crime aficionado and jumped at the chance of pitting the great detective against possibly the greatest murder mystery of all time.”

“To be playing Sherlock Holmes, written by the man who created such amazing characters such as, John Steed, Emma Peel, Bodie & Doyle on stage every night has been a dream come true.

“ I feel privileged to be both entertaining the public with a gift of a character and keeping the memory of my father alive.”

Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper Murders are at Buxton Opera House from August 24 to August 26, at 7.30pm, with a matinee performance on the Wednesday at 2.30pm.

Tickets are priced from £16 to £18 and discounts are available. To book or for more details contact 01298 72190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk